The European Commission adopted the 2018 edition of the General Report. This fulfils its legal obligation under Article 249(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to publish an annual report on the activities of the European Union.
The report shows how the EU is delivering on its commitments to Europeans. In 2018, after nearly 6 years of continuous growth, 239 million Europeans were at work – more than ever before. 12.4 million jobs have now been created since 2014, with unemployment dropping to 6.8% and youth unemployment back to 2008 levels.
The Juncker Investment Plan for Europe has mobilised over €370 billion in investment across Europe. The General Report also highlights that the Digital Single Market Strategy is well on its way with agreement reached over the past year on 23 of the Commission’s 30 proposals. This includes new initiatives such as supercomputing, e-health, disinformation, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and blockchain.
In addition, new rules now provide stronger and more consistent personal data protection for people, businesses and administrations. The EU continued to lead the fight against climate change, playing an instrumental role at the UN Climate Conference in Katowice in December to make the Paris Agreement operational. The Commission backed its action by proposing a Clean Planet for all setting a long-term vision for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.
In 2018, the EU signed a trade deal with Japan and reached a new agreement on trade with Mexico. 600,000 jobs in Europe are tied to exports to Japan, and 400,000 jobs rely on exports to Mexico. On migration, following the peak in arrivals to the EU in 2015, flows went back to below pre-crisis levels. The Commission also presented new proposals to further strengthen the European Border and Coast Guard.
The General Report is prepared in all official languages of the EU. It will be available from 13 March as a fully illustrated book and in an interactive online version.